small and not very models with different productivity

small and not very models with different productivity

Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. But whatever you do, the seasons of the year change with their proper frequency. But manufacturers of computer hardware, no less than the change of months and seasons of the year, constantly release new and new models of mini PCs. And there are very interesting models in today’s selection, so I’m asking for a copy.

ASRock – several mini PCs at once on the N97 Alder Lake-N chip

ASRock released several models of miniature systems based on the 12th generation N97 Alder Lake-N.

ASROCK NUC Box-N97 is an active cooling system, iBOX-N97 is a passive cooling system, plus NUC-N97 motherboards for mini-ITX, Pico-ITX, and 3.5″ single board will be available soon.

All released systems support simultaneous operation with three 4K/60Hz displays. In addition, they all have two 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports and two drives each thanks to the presence of M.2 and SATA 3.0 connectors.

As for performance, these mini PCs cannot be called the leaders of the rating. But they are still noticeably more productive than computers based on Intel N50 or N100.

Now more details about each of the models.

ASRock NUC BOX-N97 is a mini-PC with dimensions of 118 x 110 x 48 mm. The model has a place for a hard disk and an M.2 SSD. It supports up to 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM.

In addition, there is support for wireless communication standards WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, two HDMI 2.0b ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports (with DisplayPort Alt Mode), three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. And also two 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports. As for the case, it is made of metal and plastic.

ASRock iBOX-N97 is slightly larger in size, 135 x 110 x 45 mm. The case is not monolithic, but with slots on the lid for better cooling. The characteristics are similar, the only thing is that there is one more USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port. Well, the case is also aluminum to optimize heat exchange.

There are even more motherboards — five models:

  • NUC-N97 (most likely, this is the board from the iBOX-N97)
  • SOM-P104J (Pixo-ITX)
  • IMB-1005J (Mini-ITX)
  • IMB-1006J (Another Mini-ITX)
  • SBC-260J (3.5″ single board).


A fairly powerful single board with a 45-watt Intel Core i7-12650H, 10-core, 16-thread process. It supports up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. Two storage devices are also supported, one SSD and the other 2.5-inch drive.

The cost of the device is $309, sales will start on August 18. However, this is the price for a model without RAM, memory and, accordingly, the operating system.

True, the model with everything necessary for work is not much more expensive – the price starts at $369 for a device with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of memory. If you pay an extra $30, you can get a 32GB/512GB model.

List of ports and connectors:

  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Type-C (w/DisplayPort Alt Mode)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet

Without a dedicated video card, this model cannot be considered a very productive device. But with the current characteristics, the device is able to cope with a large number of work tasks, including video processing.

Maxtang MTN-ALN50

A small mini PC with dimensions of 129 x 127 x 48 mm. The body is metal, made of aluminum, the design is made in the style of an Intel NUC mini-PC. As for the chip, Intel N100 or Intel Core i3-N305 is installed here – the user can choose.

Intel Processor N100 is a 6-watt, 4-core and 4-thread chip with a maximum operating frequency of 3.4 GHz. Integrated graphics – Intel UHD.

Core i3-N305 is a 15-watt, 8-core and 8-thread chip with core frequency support up to 3.8 GHz. Graphics – Intel UHD.

The device supports up to 32 GB of DDR memory, there is also an M.2 2280 connector and an FPC SATA interface for additional storage. Here is the list of ports and connectors:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (w/DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode)
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 2 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet (RTL8125)

The device received active cooling and VESA for installing the device behind the display.

Unfortunately, the price has not yet been announced.

“Game PC” from AOOSTAR

The company positions it as a “gaming computer”, which is somewhat of an exaggeration. Yes, the device is quite powerful, with an AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS chip and Radeon 680M graphics. But still, he cannot cope with difficult games.

The size of the device is 130 x 130 x 54 mm. Here is the list of ports and connectors:

  • 1 x USB4 Type-C (display support up to 8K/60Hz display)
  • 1 x USB Type-C (charging only)
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet

A mini-PC can work simultaneously with three displays. It also has a wireless communication module that supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

As for the price, everything starts at $499 for the model with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD. If you pay extra, you can buy a model with 32 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD for up to $549.

Khadas Mind

One of the most unusual miniature PCs. This accessory is modular. The size of the main unit is 210*290 mm. Inside is an Intel Raptor Lake Core i7-1360P chip with 12 cores. Khadas Mind will receive 32 GB of LPDDR5-5200 memory and integrated graphics. Additionally, it includes two M.2 slots that support PCIe Gen4 and Gen3.

Its main feature is not the characteristics of the main module, but the ability to connect the device to a docking station, which expands its capabilities, and to a module with a powerful game card. That is, you can use the device as a workstation, and you can also use it as a gaming device.

The module with the game card was named Mind Graphics, the card here is the RTX 4060 laptop version.

In addition, the company is going to release Mind xPlay portable screen with keyboard, Mind Link with PCIe Gen5 support and Mind Talk, designed for office conferencing and VoIP meetings.

How much such a miracle will cost and when it will go on sale – unfortunately, it is not yet known. But it is unlikely to be cheap, especially considering the game module.

You may also be interested in these texts:

→ Useful resources and tools for immersing yourself in Flask: Selectel staff picks
→ “20% of equipment will not arrive on time, and 10% will never arrive.” Parallel import through the eyes of an infrastructure provider
→ We learn to develop a REST API on Go using the link reducer as an example

Related posts